What We Do

The St David’s Medical Foundation was formed in 2006 to support exciting innovations in medical research and education. Under the leadership of Professor Julian Hopkin CBE, the Foundation is in a unique position to support the work of world leaders in their field.

We run and manage funds and gifts to maximize the outcomes of groundbreaking research. Significant developments include research to identify the causes of childhood epilepsy, the early diagnosis of blood-clots in strokes and heart attacks and a clinical research centre for diabetes.

  • We identify potentially life changing research at its earliest stage and offer seed-corn grants to ensure important opportunities are followed through.
  • We forge strong links with institutions on our doorstep and globally, collaborating with partners in Wales and beyond.
  • We invest in outstanding students – the great scientists and doctors of the future.
  • Together we are making a difference. We can and should have a healthier world.

Underpinning Research

St David’s Medical Foundation runs and manages funds and gifts to maximise the outcome of ground breaking research performed within Swansea University Medical School. At present over 40 such research projects are supported. 

We specifically raise funds in support of research at Swansea University Medical School and its collaborator NHS organisations. Where funds come in directly for specific projects we are pleased to be associated with these prestigious Research Projects.


Seed-corn Research grants

Our flagship programme of support for research is through the annual competition for Seed Corn Research Grants, and which was inaugurated in 2012.

The objective of the programme is to offer the vital first support for new research ideas so as to allow the projects to advance and grow, and go on to secure external funding thereafter.  In particular, we offer such support to young researchers of Swansea University Medical School and to young medical staff at Swansea Bay and Hywel Dda University Health Boards.

Whereas we awarded grants each up to £2,500 initially, we now offer three £6,000 seed corn grants. Calls for applications are made annually around the turn of the calendar year, and currently attract some 20 applications. Each and every application is scored independently for its promise and quality by a panel of academic and clinical judges, and the grants are awarded to the three bids with the highest aggregate scores.

Bids (up to 1500 words to describe the proposed work, plus any additional figures/tables; plus costs) are currently submitted to Professor Julian Hopkin, Chairman of SDMF Trustees (j.m.hopkin@swansea.ac.uk). Likewise, a report on the outcome of the research should be submitted on completion (around 15 months) to the same email address. 


Student project awards and other scholarship prizes

We are also pleased to sponsor the Final year GE-MB Student projects (Developing Professional Practice) via grants of £500 – awarded by competition.

Dr Ramon Jenkins

For details on this generous benefactor please click here. We are delighted to host these awards in his name.

Dr Ramon Jenkins annual awards

  • Scholarship Prize for best performance in Family Practice on the GE-MB course;
  • Scholarship Prize for best performance on Applied Medical Sciences BSc course;
  • Scholarship Prize for best performance on Physician Associate (paramedic) MSc course; 
  • Two Scholarships, reimbursing GAMSAT aptitude test fee for two scorers amongst Welsh domicile MB entrants.


Annual Creative Essay Competition for Graduate Entry MB Students at Swansea

SDMF Creative Essay Competition - a vibrant, panel-reviewed competition identified a winning essay from each of the four years of the GE-MB course.

Please read a selection of the winning essays below:

The competition is usually held in early Spring each year and a notice will be circulated to all
GE-MB students at the time.

Professor Julian Hopkin CBE MD FMedSci FLSW
Chairman of Trustees, SDMF